Are you getting ready to boat with the kids this weekend and you’re worried about making things a little more entertaining for them? While you’re used to cruising around Jacksonville with a few friends, some cold beer, and your favorite tunes, boating with kids is a whole different experience.
Sometimes you just need a game plan going into the day to make sure the kids aren’t going to complain about being bored or wanting to know when it’s time to go home. Take a look at these six ways that you can boating more fun for the kids that might make you enjoy the time even more than you do when you’re just with adults!
Start by packing some great snacks
The best way to a kid’s heart is through tasty food. That means that you need to plan ahead and bring some sweet treats that will keep them smiling all day, but also some nutritious snacks to keep their energy up.
One of the reasons kids love McDonalds so much is that they have such delicious, hot, salty French fries. Make your own version by using sweet potato French fries, putting them in a bag that makes them easy to grab, and put your own healthy spices on top before baking them hot just like their favorite fast food does it. They won’t even realize they are eating a healthy version of the same treat.
Next, bake up some homemade granola bars with healthy ingredients mixed in with a few sweet treats that the kids will love. Make it with healthy nuts, dried fruit, and raisins but then add it some delicious M&Ms or other treats that will get the kids excited.
Lastly, pack some small bite-sized foods like bread balls, pretzels, and sandwiches cut into small bits that kids will just love and keep feeling healthy throughout a day packed full of swimming, sunshine, and sitting around the boat.
Make it a social experience
Sometimes kids get bored faster when they are missing their friends. Let the kids invite a friend along and you’ll find that they stay entertained much longer than usual. They’ll also be more likely to be brave with activities when their friends are there to share the experience.
This will also give the kids a break from all of the rules parents are giving for boat and sun safety, while keeping spirits up so that kids can enjoy their parents without complaining about not having enough fun.
A big tube and a big slide
What do kids love to do in the summer? They love to get in the water and they love playing with outdoor toys. Use this knowledge on the boat by packing a big tube that can hold several kids and they will have a ball trying to balance on the same float as their friends. Then set up a large, inflatable water slide that can go from the side of the boat into the water so the kids can slide into the water for hours!
Teach them to fish
You can also use the boat excursion as a chance to take the kids fishing. Whether they’ve done it before or not, bring the rods and head out to a great fishing spot at sunset. The kids will love trying to spot the fish and the achievement of helping to catch one.
Make it a pizza party
Even though you packed some delicious snacks, you may need something to feed the kids lunch. Make it a pizza party by having the pizza delivered to the dock. Once you get the pizzas, you can head back out with a hot, delivered pizza enjoyed by all.
How about an outdoor movie?
One thing kids don’t expect to get to do on the boat is have a movie day. As long as you have a power supply, you can set up a projector and a big white sheet hung from the Bimini while you play a fun, kid-friendly, summertime flick for the kids.
If you’re nervous about being popular with the kids on your next boating day or wondering how to keep them happy, use these tips to make it a great experience for all on board!